In case you didn’t know, last season there were only 27 players in the NBA that averaged over 20.0 points per game. And now that the offseason landscape has finally settled down, with the majority of the big trades and free agents signings out of the way, here are five guys that will average 20+ this coming season that didn’t last year.
1. Deron Williams – After steadily increasing from 10.8 to 16.2 to 18.8 to 19.4 points per game over his four year career, D-Will is ready to make the jump to legitimate 20+ ppg status in the League this year. And with the future of Carlos Boozer somewhat shaky, it’s time for this team to officially become Deron’s. In 34 playoff games, Williams has averaged 20.2 ppg, so he knows he can do it. Now it’s just time for him to get it done.
2. Monta Ellis – Despite an injury plagued season, Ellis still averaged 19.0 points per game for the Warriors last year, his first campaign without Baron Davis. This year, now that’s he’s back at 100% and the team is clearly his, he should dwarf his numbers from the 2007-08 season when he averaged 20.2 ppg.
3. O.J. Mayo – As a rookie last year, Mayo lead the league with 18.5 points per game for the Grizzlies in 38 minutes a night. This season, after losing Rookie of the Year honors to Derrick Rose, you know that Mayo is going to be coming out the gate firing. The beautiful thing is though, he has the green light.
4. Andre Iguodala – Whereas these other guys will probably end up averaging 20+ points per game as part of their team’s development, Iguodala needs to average over 20 a game in order for the Sixers to remain competitive. After steadily increasing from 9.0 to 12.3 to 18.2 to 19.9 points per game over the first four years of his career, Iguodala only averaged 18.8 last season. Even with Elton Brand back in the mix, Andre will need to call his own number more often this year.
5. Gilbert Arenas – He’s back! Arenas has a career average of 22.8 points per game, so getting back above the 20-point mark shouldn’t be a problem if he’s healthy this year. After playing 15 games over the last two seasons, Gilbert might just come out and drop 50 his first game out.
From the guys that didn’t last year, who do you think will average 20+ this coming season?